Thomas Keller

Topics: Thomas Keller, Yountville, California, French Laundry Pages: 2 (551 words) Published: December 14, 2012
Thomas Keller born October 14, 1955 is an American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer. He and his landmark Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, have won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, notably the Best California Chef in 1996, and the Best Chef in America in 1997. The restaurant is a perennial winner in the annual Restaurant Magazine list of the Top 50 Restaurants of the World. Thomas was the youngest of five boys. In his teenage summers, he worked at the Palm Beach Yacht Club, starting as a dishwasher and quickly moving up to cook. It was here he discovered his passion for cooking. One summer he was discovered by French-born Master Chef Roland Henin and tasked to cook staff meals at The Dunes Club. Under Henin's study, Keller learned the fundamentals of classical French cooking. After The Dunes Club, Keller worked various cooking positions in Florida and soon became the cook at a small French restaurant called La Rive in the Hudson River valley in Catskill, New York. Thomas worked alone with the couple's grandmother as prep cook. Given free rein, he built a smokehouse to cure meats, developed relationships with local livestock purveyors and learned to cook entrails and offal under his old mentor, Roland Henin, who would drop by on occasional weekends. After three years at La Rive, unable to buy it from the owners, he left and moved to New York and then Paris, apprenticing at various Michelin-starred restaurants. In 2005, he was awarded the three star rating in the inaugural Michelin Guide for New York for his restaurant Per Se, and in 2006, he was awarded three stars in the inaugural Michelin Guide to the Bay Area for The French Laundry. He is the only American chef to have been awarded simultaneous three star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants. After the success of The French Laundry, Thomas and his brother, Joseph Keller opened Bouchon in 1998. Located down the street from The French Laundry,...
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